All Dressed Up for Christmas Breakfast

What we Americans call oatmeal is known as porridge in the rest of the English speaking world. In Germany it's haferbrei, havregrot in Norway, owsiaka in Poland and puder in Estonia. But nowhere is oatmeal mush more beloved than in Scotland, where the art of porridge making is a competition.

The Golden Spurtle Award is bestowed to the world's most talented porridge maker at the annual World Porridge Making Championship in Carrbridge, Inverness-shire. The event is held in October and the winner recieves a gold-colored spurtle as a trophy -- the spurtle is a flat wooden spatula-type utensil traditionally used to stir the porridge during cooking. I use a standard issue wooden spoon.

Wonder what they would say about my special Christmas porridge recipe?

2 cups cooked oatmeal
1 cup of your favorite berries (fresh or frozen are best but canned is okay)
2 tablespoons white sugar

Make 2 cups of your favorite oatmeal. I like to use Quaker's quick cooking kind, it takes 1 3/4 cup boiling water, a dash of salt and 1 cup of uncooked oats. Stir in the salt and oats into the boiling water. Remove from heat and let mixture sit one minute to thicken.

Butter up four 6 ounce ramekins, warm one cup of berries in the microwave for one minute on medium high. Add 1/4 cup of the warm berries to the bottom of each ramekin. Top with 1/2 cup of hot cooked oats. Level off the oatmeal to a smooth surface with a butter knife. Sprinkle 1 or 2 teaspoons of white sugar on top. Using a chef's torch, carmelize the sugar to a crunchy golden brown as you would with creme brulee. If you haven't got a chef's torch, place sugared oatmeal under the broiler for a miute or two until the sugar melts to the golden color. Let stand a minute to allow the sugar to harden. Serves four.


  1. Nice idea--and I'm an oatmeal lover! Thanks, Deb. As far as I'm concerned you'd win the spurtle.

    Merry Christmas!

  2. take a lesson from the Scots and use old fashioned oats, you'll never consider quick oats again


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